Without Perspective: The Personal is not Political; it is Absurd, Hopeless and Ridiculous

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The Lacanian Subject (according to Fink): The Barred S: Alienation

FAQ: What is the “male gaze”?

Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog

The Male GazeBefore talking about the male gaze, it is first important to introduce its parent concept: the gaze. According to Wikipedia the gaze is a concept used for “analysing visual culture… that deals with how an audience views the people presented.” The types of gaze are primarily categorized by who is doing the looking.

While the ideas behind the concept were present in earlier uses of the gaze, the introduction of the term “the male gaze” can be traced back to Laura Mulvey and her essay “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” which was published in 1975. In it, Mulvey states that in film women are typically the objects, rather than the possessors, of gaze because the control of the camera (and thus the gaze) comes from factors such as the as the assumption of heterosexual men as the default target audience for most film genres. While this was more true in…

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Nietzsche and Moral Nihilism – Lecture 3

Lectures

In popular culture, the philosopher Nietzsche is usually associated with moral nihilism. We might define nihilism as the absence of the highest values. Associated with moral nihilism is moral relativism. Moral relativism is the belief that all values, precisely because there are no higher values, are merely the expression of personal preference. Ironically, however, is it exactly this kind of moral viewpoint that Nietzsche is criticising. Rather than being a nihilist he is an anti-nihilist. Nihilism is a diagnosis of the decadence of Western culture, rather than a position that Nietzsche wants, and still less, wants us to aspire to.

What is the cause and origin of nihilism in contemporary society? It is the continued destruction of all meaning and signification. It is the belief that nothing really matters any more, because nothing really has any meaning. We have no system of beliefs or values which could orientate us. The…

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# LITERATURE /// Van Gogh The Man Suicided by Society by Antonin Artaud

The Funambulist

In 1947, one year after having spent nine years in psychiatric hospitals, Antonin Artaud published a beautiful book as an apologia of Vincent Van Gogh, “suicided by society” like every other visionaries that has been categorized as mad. Artaud, fifteen years before Michel Foucault, affirms that madness has been created by psychiatric medicine and not the other way around. He accuses doctors and Van Gogh’s brother Theo, to have, not only ignored, but actively suppress the expression of the painter’s art.
The invention of the adjective suicided illustrates exactly the process of psychiatry. By having elaborated this medicine method, society did not want simply to kill those that it could not assimilate (like it would do for prisoners for example), but it wanted them to recognize themselves their vision as a pathology and therefore to make them commit a social suicide.

Just like Heliogabalus or the Crowned Anarchist (we’ll…

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Poor, Unfortunate Societies: Getting to the Bottom of The Little Mermaid

The Kugelmass Episodes

Of all the works of art that haunt modern life — James Joyce’s Ulysses, Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring — perhaps none has caused as much critical puzzlement and dispute as The Little Mermaid. Terry Eagleton, in his book Ariel’s Tempest, described the film as a “delightful romp for the whole family,” unsettling a whole tradition of Wittgensteinian criticism that began with Stanley Cavell. Cavell, writing in The Strange Object: Combs and Cutlery, was famous for such statements as “the dinglehopper is the real protagonist of Disney’s unsettling sea-shanty, which raises the crucial question of what we mean when we speak of a dinglehopper” (TSO 13).

For my part, I want to examine the way the film ends, because, while watching it with my friend uncomplicatedly, the events leading up to the climax were so wretched that she exclaimed: “Oh…

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Horror Films 101: The Demon Child.

Lady Lazarus

In anticipation of Mother’s Day, I’ve decided to write about a trope in horror fiction that is a dark meditation on maternity: the Demon Child. This trope tends to divide itself into two separate categories: firstly, the demonic unborn child or baby; and second, the older but equally demonic child. While these two subcategories are closely related, there are subtle but critical differences between them that influence our reading of these character types and the meaning behind them. This post shall focus on the unborn Demon Child, a character type that TVTropes — in their usual tongue-in-cheek manner — dub the Fetus Terrible:

…The Fetus Terrible hasn’t even been born yet, but will become The Antichrist or a demon prophesied to bring about The End of the World as We Know It once it escapes from its womb. The woman carrying this (often literally) hellborn spawn is usually an innocent…

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